Thursday, September 3, 2009

CKP community in Peshwai

The fact that almost all the administrators from Chatrapati Shivaji to Rajaram Maharaj were either Deshastha Bramhins or Prabhus is reflected [by] the many common surnames in both the Deshastha and CKP communities such as Deshpande, Kulkarni, Chitnis, Gadkari, Karkhanis, Deshmukh, Tipnis and Jamenis etc.
Before 1713, all the Peshwes ( Prime Ministers) during the reign of the Maratha Empire were Deshasthas but from 1713 to 1803 Chatrapati appointed Chitpavan Peshwes. Particularly during the period 1750-1790, CKPs and Deshasthas faced a multitude of problems because of the pro-Chitpavan(and anti-CKP,anti-debra) attitude of Nanasaheb Peshwa. CKPs who by the mid-18th century had established themselves as professional administrators for the Angres at Alibaug, the Suvarnadurg clan in Malabar-Konkan coast, the Gaekwads in Gujarat, Bhonsales in Berar province, Ghorpades in Karnataka as well as for other Maratha chieftains from Dewas, Dhar, Indore,Kolhapur, Satara and Akkalkot found themselves at loggerheads with the Koknastha Brahmins for political and economical reasons because both communities were competing for the same posts. CKPs, who were favoured by both Hindu and Muslim rulers, were suppressed by vested interests in the Peshwa's durbar at Pune, particularly during rule of Nanasaheb Peshwa, Madhavrao Peshwa and Nana Phadanavis.
This was also the period of a Brahmanical revival in the Hindu religion when Brahmins ascended to the top of the Hindu caste hierarchy. CKPs, who as local administrators for the (Yavana) Muslim rulers prior to the Peshwa rule, had interaction socially with the Muslim and Buddhist rulers of the era and gradually adopted the social customs prevalent at that time, such as animal sacrifice, eating meat during religious functions, donation of money to bride as meher, worshiping fakirs or sufi saints and fasting, which was anathema to the Brahmins. Furthemore, the CKPs never had the sheer numbers to gain the favour of rulers.Chitpavan Kokanasta Brahmins who outnumbered CKPs, made seveal attempts to isolate the CKPs and suppress them further economically and politically, for example, by claiming that they did not have the right to perform the thread ceremony (munj. This was nothing more than an attempt by the Chitpavan Kokanasta Brahmins to appropriate for themselves the sole right to perform religious vedic rituals, a privilege of the ruling class in the brahminical way of thinking as declared by Brahmin rulers of that time.
Morever CKPs found themselves always at loggerheads with peshwas starting from Balaji Vishvanath 1st Chitpavan peshwa who usurped powers from Tarabai faction with which CKPs sided. Prabhu community who were earliest members of Shivaji dream of swaraj found themselves marginalized after Balaji Vishvanath became 1st Peshwa. Except Sardar Gupte who was commander in chief of Raghunathrao sworn enemy of Nana Phadanvis during his Attock operation no notable CKP ever served Peshwai & most joined rivals of Peshwas. This may have antagonised Peshwa administration further.

No comments:

Post a Comment